VW Monthly Roundup – March 2014

Please excuse the construction sounds in the background – my bad!

Here are the highlights of what happened in our awesome landscape photography community!

And for those of you who like to read, here is a summary:

  • New members – go and say Hi and check out their Goals
  • Are you a new member? Please feel free to introduce yourself
  • This is where you will find the latest articles
  • We have excellent response to the last month’s contest. Check out of the amazing image submitted by the members Shallow Depth of Field
  • Want to be inspired? Here is collection of some outstanding work from photographers all over the globe: Be Inspired
  • And who knew that Natural abstract would be one of the most popular topic. Check out some the images submitted by fellow members: Natural Abstracts
  • We are working to make this a better community and would love to have your feedback. If you have a suggestion…or just some praise please leave us a note: Feedback & Suggestions

Please leave comments below on what you would like to see in this awesome community.

Balancing Photography and Family

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Lots of people ask me how I balance photography and family. I’ll tell you this. It isn’t easy. Some days I have so much to do that I forget to eat lunch. Some days, I’m so tired that I can’t focus on what I’m writing. But most days, I do ok… and it’s hard to complain when you have such awesome kids – and a great job, too. The trick to getting everything done is pretty simple, actually. For me, it’s all about focus and flexibility.

Wednesday evening – 4:15 pm – I’ll drive the kids to the dojo for a short practice before class begins at 5. Then, I’ll leave three kids at the dojo for classes and head back home to prepare dinner. While dinner is cooking, I’ll drive back to the dojo to pick up the 10-year-old after Advanced Class, and take him to basketball practice. And then back to the Dojo once again to pick up the 12-year-old after Black Belt Club. I’ll take her back home and let her eat dinner with her big sister. Spaghetti for dinner – Yum! And then, I’ll head back to the dojo one more time – to pick up my 17-year-old after his Instructor Class. He’ll eat his dinner at home, and then I’m off to pick up the 10-year-old now that basketball practice is finished. He still needs his dinner – and then I’ve got to get everyone off to bed. And that’s just the evening…

The morning is busy with getting the kids out the door – we’re up at 5:45 am. And once they’re all at school, I’m busy with photography stuff – an online meeting, preparing a couple of blog posts, recording audio for an instructional video, putting the finishing touches on a presentation, doing some research for an upcoming trip, maybe even processing an image or two.

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When the kids are home, they’re my first priority. I walk away from the computer and put my attention on them. I help with homework, and play board games, and help them practice martial arts or basketball or whatever they need. I find that if I’m trying to focus on work and the kids want my attention too, I get frustrated. And with lots of kids around, it’s not realistic to expect that I won’t be interrupted every few minutes. So, instead of putting myself in a position where I would feel frustrated, I shift my attention completely. When the kids walk in the door, I belong to them. I try not to schedule meetings for times when my kids are at home and awake. I don’t do presentations in the afternoons or on weekends. Nope. Those times belong to the kids. Period.

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And when they walk out the door in the morning to get on the school bus, I shift my attention to work. Maybe I’m not as productive as I could be. I suppose I could get more done if I spent more time working, rather than talking and laughing with my kids. But why would I want to do that? :)

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Honestly, the hardest part of all this is just keeping track of everyone’s schedules. I always have one eye on the clock – and I sometimes worry that I’ll forget someone somewhere. (Does every parent worry about that?) Every day is different, so I have to be ready to turn on a dime. Somebody forgot their homework. Someone wants to go visit a friend. Someone has outgrown their shoes. Everyone needs a trip to the dentist… It never ends. But don’t worry. I’m not complaining. I have my calendar synced to my computer and my phone, and I set an alarm when I’m likely to forget something. I thrive on keeping busy during the week, and I try to use my weekends to re-charge. We might spend a few hours working on a fun project (we built a cool little robot named Picasso a few weeks ago), or we’ll go to the Science museum, or go for a walk in the woods. We like to have cookouts and go hiking and exploring in the woods – or swimming in the rivers if its warm enough. By Monday, I’m ready to get back to work, and we start all over again!

It’s tough to balance everything. No doubt about it. But it’s a challenge I thoroughly enjoy.

Latow Annual Photography Seminar – April 2014

Jay-Canada1Event: Latow Annual Photography Weekend

Date: April 5-6, 2014

Location: Lee Chin Family Gallery, Burlington Art Centre, 1333 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington ON L7S 1A9

More Information…

Tickets & Registration

Varina and I are featured presenters for Latow’s 35th seminar (Burlington, Ontraio) in first weekend of April. Here is some more information:

Saturday April 5, 2014: Creating Impact

Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii (HI), USAHilo, Big Island, Hawaii (HI), USA

Take a look at these two images. Both of them were taken at the same place at the same location. The photo on the left looks like your average snap shot, but the one on the right looks like something you might see in an art show. These images were taken at the same location, just a few minutes apart. So why does the image on the right have impact, while the one on the left does not?

At first glance, the answer might seem simple… the difference is in the light and the composition. Those two elements do play a big part in creating impact – but they aren’t the only factors. In creating the photo with impact, we took into account Exposure, Light, Composition, Post Processing, Shadow and Highlight Detail.. and so much more. All those factors play a role in creating impact – as well as what we include in a composition – and what we don’t.

Most photographers have learned a little something about the technical side of photography – and about the creative side as well. But what about the psychological side? We’ll discuss technical and creative skills, and how we use them to create psychological impact in a photograph.

April 6, 2014: Mini Seminars 

Morning Session: Varina Patel on Perception & Composition. (9:30 – noon) – understanding theories of human perception in order to create more compelling images, beyond the basic rules of composition. $45, combine with the afternoon session for $80. Advance registration only.

Morning Session: Jay Patel on Blending Techniques with Layers & Masks in Lightroom/Photoshop (9:30 – noon) – basic through advanced techniques according to participants’ experience and interests (exact level to be informed by a survey of registrants two weeks before the session). $45, combine with the afternoon session for $80. Advance registration only.

Afternoon Session: Jay and Varina on Creative Shooting (1 – 3:30pm) – creative techniques, making the most of shooting conditions, harsh light photography, night photography, overcast skies, specialty lenses. $45, combine with a morning session for $80. Advance registration only.

Landscape Photography on the Google Newsstand

Google Newsstand

Google recently announced their Newsstand Service for Android Devices. We are happy to report that you can now read our latest articles on any Android device via Google’s Newsstand app. Here is how you go about doing it:

Become a Member

You can get all the latest article via Google Play, and you can join our mailing list to get the latest news, special offers, and featured links. If you’re interested, you can sign up right here!

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Start the New Year off Right!

Eveling at School

 

Happy New Year, everyone!

Why not start the new year off right by making a donation to Empowerment International! We’ve been to Nicaragua twice to work with the amazing folks at EI, and we’ll be returning for a third time this year. These kids are inspiring, and EI has made such an amazing difference in their lives. Please help if you can!

Do you want to win a camera bag full of gear?

patelfilm

In August, Jay and I spent four days with a film crew in the Canadian Rockies. The Shade Tree Films guys made it an incredible experience – and now, the short film is just about ready for release!

Here’s the Trailer! We hope you enjoy it!

We’ll be flying to New York for the big event, and we hope you’ll join us for a three-part release! We’re doing a live Q&A after the exclusive premiere – but that’s just the beginning! You can watch all the videos, and the recorded hangout event over at the Induro Gear site: http://www.indurogear.com/patels/.

This past year has been an incredible one for us – and we’re really excited to be able to share the love. I want to send out a really big thank you to our Sponsors – especially the guys over at Induro, who made this happen!

Happy Cyber Monday!

Frozen in Time

20% Thank You Code: thankyou100
Expires: December 9

We started our holiday sale early this year, because we wanted to say Thank You to all of you. But don’t worry! It’s Cyber Monday, and it’s not too late! You can still use your Thank You code for a 20% discount as you stock up on eBooks for yourself and your family and friends! The holidays are here, and eBooks and webinars make great gifts – no matter where you are on your photographic journey!

Just enter your Thank You code during checkout code to get 20% off the total price of your purchase. You can use it to buy any of our eBooks, or even to purchase the complete collection… and the discount is good for our iHDR webinar series as well!

Not sure what to get? Here are our recommendations:

Photography eBooks: Workflow SeriesThe Workflow Series is perfect for hands-on learners who want to get inside our brains to see how it’s done. It’s the next best thing to going with us on a workshop!

Apprentice Series Collection

The Apprentice Series is for photographers who want to make their portfolios stand out! Learn to “See” through the eyes of the pros, and find out how to get brilliant colors without the help of photoshop!

Photography eBooks: The Complete Collection

The Complete Collection gives you even more savings! It’s every single eBook we’ve ever written in a single bundle – and we offer a 10% discount in addition to this week’s special savings! This is the ideal gift-pack for holidays and birthday, and it’s a fantastic deal!

iHDRrecordings

Our iHDR webinar recordings are for photographers who want MORE! We take you through the entire process – from equipment and fieldwork, to post-production adjustments and blending. You get a complete guide to creating natural-looking blended artwork – and a whole new outlook on photography!

Thanksgiving Sale!

Frozen in Time

20% Thank You Code: thankyou100
Expires: December 9

Here in the US, we are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It’s a time to reflect on the good things and be grateful for the people who stand by you. And so, in the spirit of the holiday, we want to say thanks to YOU. We have had an amazing year. It’s had some serious ups and downs… but we’re so lucky to have a thriving business, friends all over the world, and the incredible reality of being able to get up every morning and get back to work doing what we love. Even better, Jay and I are in this together… which is beyond awesome. And the fact is – we wouldn’t be where we are without all of you.

So, Thank You for making all this possible. Thanks for sharing our blog posts, buying our eBooks and webinars, coming along on our workshops, and making our business strong.

As a little token of our appreciation, we’re offering a discount for all your eBook and webinar purchases. For the next two weeks – from today until December 9 – just enter our Thank You code during checkout code to get 20% off the total price of your purchase. You can use it to buy a single eBook, or to purchase the complete collection… and the discount is good for our iHDR webinar series as well!

Not sure what to get? Here are our recommendations:

Photography eBooks: Workflow SeriesThe Workflow Series is perfect for hands-on learners who want to get inside our brains to see how it’s done. It’s the next best thing to going with us on a workshop!

Apprentice Series Collection

The Apprentice Series is for photographers who want to make their portfolios stand out! Learn to “See” through the eyes of the pros, and find out how to get brilliant colors without the help of photoshop!

Photography eBooks: The Complete Collection

The Complete Collection gives you even more savings! It’s every single eBook we’ve ever written in a single bundle – and we offer a 10% discount in addition to this week’s special savings! This is the ideal gift-pack for holidays and birthday, and it’s a fantastic deal!

iHDRrecordingsOur iHDR webinar recordings are for photographers who want MORE! We take you through the entire process – from equipment and fieldwork, to post-production adjustments and blending. You get a complete guide to creating natural-looking blended artwork – and a whole new outlook on photography!

Talking with Leigh Diprose at FStop Lounge

This has been a crazy-busy month for us! The latest news is that we have opened up registration for our January workshop in Australia. We sat down to talk about it with Leigh Diprose of FStop Lounge. Remember: Our Early Bird Discount expires on Friday, November 15, and the workshop is filling up quickly! So be sure to sign up right away to secure your discount and guarantee your spot!

There’s a lot going on over at FStop Lounge – tutorials, commentary, reviews… and some really cool, brand new t-shirt designs! I love their 8-bit camera t-shirts. :)

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